North Walsham

Davenport’s Magic Kingdom closes

Just Regional
Mar 2, 2017 2 mins read

The magic-themed family attraction, Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, in North Walsham, has been closed and placed into voluntary liquidation following a legal dispute.

An ongoing dispute with a former consultant to the business resulted in a legal bill of almost £60,000 and as a result, the business was unable to continue trading and the directors took steps to appoint Jamie Playford of Leading Corporate Recovery as liquidator of the company on 23 February 2017.

The attraction housed the Davenport family’s extensive magic collection of artefacts and memorabilia spanning almost 500 years, as well as providing a fun and interactive space for museum displays, a magic theatre, gift shop and café.

Prior to opening in May 2013, the Davenport family committed over £1m to building the attraction.

In 2015, visitor numbers decreased and operational costs had increased, causing some cash flow difficulties. The business sought a financial rescue package from the director and his family and friends in order to fund ongoing trading.

The business had accumulated creditors of £1.7 million, of which £1.4m was owed to the Davenport family. The closure resulted in two immediate redundancies although other staff had been laid off over recent months.

Fourth-generation magician and current managing director, Roy Davenport, is currently in talks with Mr Playford to produce a rescue package.

Mr Playford said of the closure: “It is always sad to see a local attraction such as this forced into liquidation, however the local community have expressed their support for the Davenport family and so we are hopeful that a rescue package can be formulated over the coming weeks. We are looking at the detail of the proposals and hope to make a decision in the next week or so.”

Mr Davenport added: “Of course it is very unfortunate to have to go through this process. I am grateful to everyone who has supported us in so many ways over the last years. We are putting all our efforts into a possible rescue package and are hopeful that we can save our unique British magic collection and continue to make it accessible to all.”

A flashback to the opening of Davenport’s in 2013

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